You are on page 1of 2

Sushi (, , ?) is a Japanese food consisting of cooked vinegared rice ( sushimeshi?) combined with other ingredients ( neta?

), seafood, vegetables and sometimes


tropical fruits. Ingredients and forms of sushi presentation vary widely, but the ingredient
which all sushi have in common is rice (also referred to
as shari (?) or sumeshi (?)).

The history of sushi in Japan began around the 8th century. The original type
of sushi was first developed in Southeast Asia as a means of preserving fish in
fermented rice. In the Muromachi period, people began to eat the rice as well as
the fish.

The Oxford English Dictionary notes the earliest written mention of sushi in an 1893
book, Japanese Interiors, where it mentions that "Domestics served us with tea and sushi or
rice sandwiches".[8][9] However, there is also mention of sushi in a Japanese-English
dictionary from 1873,[10] and an 1879 article on Japanese cookery in the journal Notes and
Queries.[11]
A report of sushi being consumed in Britain occurred when the then Prince Akihito (born
1933) visited Queen Elizabeth II during her Coronation in May 1953.[12][13] In America in
September 1953, Prince Akihito is noted with serving sushi at the Japanese Embassy in
Washington, hosted by Ambassador Eikichi Araki (18911959).[14]
Sushi was first introduced to the United States in the mid-1960s, possibly at the Kawafuku
restaurant in the Little Tokyo neighborhood of Los Angeles.[15] The California roll was
invented in Los Angeles, by substituting a slice of avocado for the seasonal toro (fatty tuna)
in a traditional maki roll.

For almost the next 800 years, until the early 19th century, sushi slowly changed and
the Japanese cuisine changed as well. The Japanese started eating three meals a day, rice
was boiled instead of steamed, and most important of all, rice vinegar was invented. While
sushi continued to be produced by fermentation of fish with rice, the time of fermentation was
gradually decreased and the rice used began to be eaten along with the fish.

O-nigiri ( or ; ?), also known as o-musubi (;


?), nigirimeshi (; ?) or rice ball, is a Japanese food made
from white rice formed into triangular or oval shapes and often wrapped innori (seaweed).
Traditionally, an onigiri is filled with pickled ume (umeboshi),
salted salmon, katsuobushi, kombu,tarako, or any other salty or sour ingredient as a
natural preservative. Because of the popularity of onigiri in Japan, mostconvenience
stores stock their onigiri with various fillings and flavors. There are even specialized shops
which only sell onigiri to take out.
Despite common misconceptions, onigiri is not a form of sushi. Onigiri is made with plain rice
(sometimes lightly salted), while sushi is made of rice with vinegar, sugar and salt.[1] Onigiri
makes rice portable and easy to eat as well as preserving it, while sushi originated as a way
of preserving fish.
Onigiri are also found in many convenience stores in Hong Kong, mainland
China, Taiwan and South Korea.
In Lady Murasaki's 11th-century diary Murasaki Shikibu Nikki, she writes of people eating
rice balls.[2][3] At that time, onigiri were called tonjiki and often consumed at outdoor picnic
lunches.[4] Other writings, dating back as far as the seventeenth century, state that
manysamurai stored rice balls wrapped in bamboo sheath as a quick lunchtime meal during
war, but the origins of onigiri are much earlier even than Lady Murasaki. Before the use
of chopsticks became widespread, in the Nara period, rice was often rolled into a small ball
so that it could be easily picked up. In the Heian period, rice was also made into small
rectangular shapes known as tonjiki so that they could be piled onto a plate and easily eaten.